Sports that might be considered minor recreations to most seem to all have a dedicated community in Colorado Springs.
The trick to pulling off the large-scale Rocky Mountain State Games has been to find volunteers to run those sports who are fully plugged into those communities.
In people like Joanne Bostrom in billiards, Asif Hosain in field hockey and Jimmy Donnellon in Ultimate Frisbee, the organizers found the right people to oversee the action - and in some cases join right in on the field.
"It's hard for me not to play," said Donnellon, who played as well as ran the action on Saturday. "I'd rather just be a part of it."
For Hosain, who handles the scheduling and finds officials for every field hockey match, the draw is clearly a close attachment to the sport - though he joked that the pay also helped bring him back year after year.
"Oh yes, there are lots of zeroes," he said.
Checking the competition
Heading into Saturday's arm wrestling competition, tournament director Jeff Ames had received few entrants. How few? Two. But the State Games, which canceled three sports earlier in the week, didn't cancel arm wrestling, which was in its inaugural year at the games.
Ames knew the lack of early registration was all part of the gamesmanship. Before the kids' competitions had finished, dozens of adult competitors had shown up to register.
Craig Goodwin, who attended to watch his kids compete but sat out because of carpal tunnel syndrome, wasn't surprised by the lack of early registration.
"Some of those guys, the reason why they enter at the end ... they finally just lost the weight," said Goodwin, who walks around at 154 pounds. "I've entered some at the very last minute. I kind of noticed the brackets, who was in there. I was like, I've beaten that bigger guy, so I'll enter in the 200 pounds or the 198s. And I'll try to take on guys, 40 or 50 pounds heavier than me."
Rain shortens event
The track and field meet finished a little bit early because of a thunderstorm. Lightning struck close enough to Grace Athletic Complex that it was necessary to empty the stadium for an hour. The races resumed around 1:45, but were stopped at 4 p.m. after another storm.